Loved ones to remember Charleston man, 18, slain in sleep a year ago

A family member comforts Darryl Bennett, right, outside Bennett's home on Congress Street in downtown Charleston where his son was fatally stabbed June 12, 2014. (ANDREW KNAPP/STAFF)

Loved ones will gather for a vigil Thursday to remember a young man who was slain as he slept at his Charleston home a year before.

Brandon Bennett, 18, died after the police said a former friend of his, 17-year-old Terrell Smith, cut the screen on his window, entered the Congress Street house and stabbed him with a knife.

Bennett’s father, Darryl, woke up during the home invasion and chased Smith away, the police said.

Darryl Bennett said later that he and his son had welcomed Smith into their home on past occasions to eat and play games.

A year removed from the June 11, 2014, slaying, Bennett’s friends and family members will remember him during the vigil at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the downtown Waterfront Park near Vendue Range and Concord Street.

A flier for the event encourages people to bring a blue balloon to release.

“We want to keep his memory alive,” the flier stated.

About 200 people gathered for a similar vigil at the park shortly after Bennett’s death last year.

Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.